College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences2015-2016

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Statistics, Master of Science

Statistics forms the backbone of a multitude of research endeavors and is essential in the design of experiments and analysis of experimental data—in disciplines old, new, and cutting edge. This non-thesis advanced degree concludes with a comprehensive exam conducted by the student's advisory committee.


What Can I Do with a Master of Science in Statistics?

Statistics is a profession in its own right, but it's also an essential tool in countless career fields; from physical and social science to business, engineering, and marketing. Government and industry employers need skilled statisticians for operations research, numerical analysis, simulation and modeling, data analysis, market research, and commercial surveys. In the Master's Degree in Statistics you will receive rigorous training in the design of experiments and the analysis and interpretation of results.

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Policy analyst
  • Research assistant
  • Data analyst
  • Surveyor

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 32
Major GPA 3.0
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
Comprehensive Exam Comprehensive Exam is required.
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study
Student Learning Outcomes

M.S. in Statistics

  • Graduates will demonstrate breadth and depth of knowledge of statistics at the graduate level.
    • Graduates will understand a wide range of statistical theory, especially Probability, Mathematical Statistics, and Linear Models, which are central to advanced studies in statistics. This foundation provides the primary mathematical framework for understanding and applying advanced statistical methods.
    • Graduates will understand and be able to apply advanced statistical models and inference methods and how they relate to the core statistical theory.
    • Graduates will demonstrate mastery by successfully completing a comprehensive oral exam covering an approved set of three courses encompassing topics in both theoretical and applied statistics. This exam is administered by a committee of the faculty with expertise in these courses from the Department of Mathematics & Statistics.
  • Graduates will demonstrate statistical reasoning skills at the graduate level.
    • Graduates will be able to select data collection methodologies based on relevant scientific questions and practicality constraints.
    • Graduates will be able to choose and implement analysis methods based on the constraints of a study design and the scientific questions of interest.
    • Graduates will be able to assess statistical significance of aspects of a proposed model and interpret  the results in the situational context.
    • Graduates will have the theoretical and applied knowledge to understand and critique new statistical methodology and its relevance to a particular study or scientific problem.
    • Graduates will possess the creativity and intuition to apply known statistical methodology in new situations.
  • Graduates will communicate statistics effectively in preparation for careers in industry, with government agencies, or in education.
    • By both written and oral means, graduates will be able to explain statistical methodology, assumptions, and results.
    • Graduates will be proficient in the use of numerical, graphical, and narrative methods for conveying statistical information.
    • By tailoring the level of complexity and detail to the audience, graduates will be able to communicate effectively with statisticians, non--statistician researchers, and the community at large.


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application required.for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • 3 letters of recommendation
    • Personal statement or essay
    • Prerequisites (completed prior to enrolling in the program)
      • At least 23 hours of undergraduate mathematics and statistics coursework at the level of calculus and above with a grade of C or better, and have at least a 3.0 grade point average in these courses.
      • The 23 credit hours must include coursework in multivariable calculus, linear algebra, real analysis (advanced calculus), and mathematical statistics.
    • List of courses taken in the field with titles/authors of textbooks used
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 32 units:

    Core Coursework (20 units)

    Statistics Elective (3 units)Coherent Area (9 units)
    • Coherent area of your own choosing, subject to advisor and department graduate operations committee approval.
    • While a coherent area may consist of additional statistics or mathematics courses, students are encouraged to choose an area in forestry, environmental sciences, biological sciences, or another area of application of statistics.
    • Coherent-area coursework must be appropriate for a graduate program.
    Comprehensive Final Exam
    • Perform satisfactorily on a comprehensive final exam conducted by your advisory committee
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability

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